Thursday, December 6, 2012

a college grad

Our first Bison game together [2009]

In just one short week (wow, where does the time go?)  Lee will be graduating with a construction management degree, business administration minor, AND don't forget his most prized major in "hunter gathering."

In all seriousness, I am so proud of you leland!  Thank you for putting the time and effort into getting a degree that will help to feed a family of our own someday. I cannot wait to get all emotional and paparazzi-esque as you march up on to that stage to receive your diploma.  I'm crying right now writing this, go figure.

Some of my most favorite memories of our time together at NDSU:
  • Papa John's pizza nights (2 butter dipping sauces please)
  • Living a parking lot away from each other
  • Taking classes together (a whopping 4!)
  • Bison games- you making us get in line 18 hours early 
  • Finding a church that is so genuine and passionate about us 
  • Ice cream @ the union 
  • Bowling & trying not to make the bowling manager man mad 
  • RedBox promo codes
  • Parking tickets (none for me this year - i WIN)
  • Peeking out the sun roof off the beaten path near the runway watching airplanes take off and land
  • Trying all of the different meats you cook up (without ketchup)
  • Intramural Vball
  • Playing basketball and "lifting" together 
  • Going for walks around campus (walks that do burn calories might i add ;))
  • Catching up on The Office because we always missed it for Chi Alpha
  • The long drive back to Fargo where i usually slept and so graciously let you do the driving
  • Catfishing adventures 
  • Vikings games and chips & salsa
  • The pumpkin patch that you begged me to go to  :) 
  • Missing & skyping you while on my Europe trip 
  • Killing my first turkey and deer near Fargo both times!
  • The many movies we've seen and popcorn we've eaten at Marcus Theatres (I'm so glad you enjoy going to movies as much as me)
  • Listening to all of your hunting/fishing stories 
  • Meeting new friends and becoming better friends with you 

I am so stinkin glad i decided to transfer up here to spend our college years together! You have cheered me up during so many stressful weeks. It's going to be hard not having you up here next year, but we have so many good life happenings to look forward to.

Enjoy your last week as a "student," the real world awaits ;) 

Your Ali

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Walking on Water


So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.  But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink.  "Save me, Lord!" he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him.  "You have so little faith," Jesus said.  "Why did you doubt me?" Matthew 15: 29-31

This verse struck the depths of my being last night.  So many times do I let my feelings rule my circumstances.  So many times I am fearful.  So many times I am insecure and let my insecurities get the best of me.  So many times do I try to plan my own days.  So many times do I catch myself worrying.  So many times I am anxious.  Especially in this season of graduation and career/life planning all too often my thoughts are future thinking. So many times I have asked to be saved instead of just walking on the water to begin with.  

How could I doubt the creator of the Earth's plan for me and have so little faith?  
Because it's so much easier to doubt than to defeat.
It takes time and conscious effort to think heavenly.

It is my own decision to choose worry over trust & future thoughts over here and now thoughts.

Those decisions only cause me to sink more.  

I want to walk on the water.

Will you join me? 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A "Guess Who" Halloween

image taken from here
For those of you who have never played the game, you are missing out and should read no further (haha kidding), but as you can see Lee & I were characters from the Guess Who game board.  He picked the name Alfred, but looks nothing like the character Alfred in the picture above (fifth from the left in the back row).  He had to have a "sweet" name, so he's named Alfred but is more of a mixture of Alex and Tom. And of course I was Maria.

Now, for those of you that did play you must remember always hoping and praying that your opponent was a girl for the easy win - am I right?  Hmmm 19 men to 5 ladies, why they didn't place more women on the board to even out the playing field we will never know?

Both shirts, fabric paint, lee's mustache, the green fabric for my hat, string, and tag board cost roughly $20.  All of it was found at Wal-Mart. It didn't take very long to throw it all together either. It's so fun to see everyone's inner creativity shine on the 31st of October. Until next year, with love,  Maria & Alfred.

*UPDATE// We ended up winning $100 from an online DIY halloween costume contest that I entered us in for the fun of it. The instructions and post I wrote to win can be found here!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

an ombré lady

i look a little different than one might expect these days. since forever, i have either highlighted my hair 
with the same old highlights or gone au natural brunette. BORING. this trip to the salon was different & freeing 
& just plain old fun. yes, i did pay big bucks to create grown out roots. silly i know. for now i am liking it. 
and so  is mr. lee. he says it's the best my hair has ever looked. go me.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


...the 28th of september 2012 is a day that I will never ever forget. and yes, now is an appropriate time to say never justin beiber. ha. i met miss carrie underwood. ahhh. eeee. weeeee. OMG. holy cow. yep yes that really happened ali.  

my mind and stomach still cannot believe it, but this is how the story goes...

carrie is playing in Fargo today and so everyone knew that she was going to be in town. little did we know that her hotel was just across the street from intelligent insites

after our duties as accounting interns ended, we headed to the rooftop of our building where all of us employees gather each friday to celebrate the end of another work week.  we got up to the top and saw a line of men leaning over the railing gazing across the road. they told us that they "thought" they saw her. no way? are you serious? what is she wearing? i did not believe them. 

sure enough out the door of a little health boutique (underneath her hotel) she came trying to be all sneaky in workout apparel & giant sunglasses, but with that big blonde hair we knew it had to be her! eeeeek! my mouth dropped in awww and star struck syndrome kicked in. "we have to go down there and run into her somehow" i kept saying. everyone thought i was crazy, but two more ended up being crazy enough with me and off we headed down the street to casually bump our way into her. 

unfortunately, we had lost her by the time we got down the street so we ended up having to check inside each store that we passed and looked "carrie worthy", act like we were actually shopping, then quickly make an exit into the next one. after about 15 minutes of doing this little maneuver in and out of stores, i started to lose hope. the lovely brita then suggested as a last resort that we head to "Beyond Running," a fitness shop because Carrie obviously likes to workout.  heather and i were like why would you come to Fargo for workout clothing, but hey it's a cute shop and was worth a shot. 

we entered the store like the past three we had been in and began our pretend shopping when all of a sudden i heard the two of them saying oh my gosh she is right there.

 heart. almost. stopped. beating. 

i continued to pretend shop as i contemplated just how exactly one approaches a super famously beautiful lady trying to enjoy her "day off". she was sitting on a bench in the store reading her phone with her sunglasses still on, hoping to remain unseen. i was so nervous. the idea sounded so much better as we were walking around looking for her. 

when you are actually in that moment it is crazy i tell ya. just plain nuts. 

i knew that i couldn't leave that store without a picture, but i also didn't want to bug her because she was trying her very best to hide. her friend was checking out and so i needed to act fast. that's when i proceeded to awkwardly look over at her and luckily at that exact moment in time she looked up (yes!) and in question form i said "Carrie? Hiiiiii,"as she sort of still didn't want to acknowledge that fact that we found her. she stared in an angry/nice way regretting her decision to make eye contact with me & i walked over and shook her hand while almost hugging/petting her at the same time. it got even more awkward when the only thing i could think to say was "you're the first celebrity i've ever met". 

we have to work on this whole meeting celebrities thing.

i then asked if we could take a picture and around the clothes rack came heather and brita, "can we too"?!! she was nice and had her friend take the picture of us and we even got her to remove those darn sunglasses. 

we then thanked her & i apologized for bothering her with annoying super fan-ness.

a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. 

we told her to enjoy Fargo & she said that they already were. 

thanks for making our day, week, month, and year Carrie & again we apologize for revealing your cover. 

Brita, Carrie, Me, & Heather

Friday, September 21, 2012

you are beautiful

yes you.  you are beautiful & not alone in feeling inadequate according to the world's views on beauty.  but you are not ugly, nor should you feel ashamed of your appearance and body type.  you were created to be just who you are, perfectly crafted by the maker of heaven & earth.  he is who i bring my feelings of inadequacy to.  he lifts me up and reminds me of how beautiful i am each and every time that Satan attacks.  we must run away from the norms of the world and its emphasis on outward appearance every single minute of every single day.  our world is filled with such hurt and pain and suffering because everyone believes the lies.  you will not be the norm if you begin to live inwardly, but i can promise that you will be happy.  play this song & know that there could never be a more beautiful you. like ever ;) 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

a headache

{my accounting book is ginormous in case anyone was wondering}

dear lee,

last night you were about to leave my apartment after two hours of listening to me whine & complain about school and studying, but as you were leaving i told you i had a headache- in my exact words, the worst headache ever & yes i know i can be exaggerative at times, but really for real i meant it and you rubbed my little ole forehead until it felt 100% better. thank you for doing that. thank you for putting off the sandwich & ranch wheat thins for my hurting head. thank you for reminding me that school isn't everything. thank you for loving me during these busy weeks of mine. i really appreciate it. 


Sunday, September 16, 2012


Already one whole year ago today a not so brave girl flew half-way across the world to Belgium to begin a european study abroad adventure through 9 countries. The trip changed me in all sort of ways that I can't even begin to explain (including the brave department). Life is so much simpler over there, a great reminder to my always busy brain to slow down and throw all your worries out the door. So today, as I sit inside my room studying for a gazillion classes (joy), I am feeling very thankful to have gone to so many locations that most people will never have the chance to experience. The only thing missing from the trip was Lee :) Here are a few of my favorite pictures (& a video) in honor of this day.

Until next time Europe,  I will be basque-ing in your beauty from my computer.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

DIY button lamp

I bought this ikea lamp at a garage sale for $1 and transformed it's pale white plain-ness into a colorful fiesta of buttons. 
My inspiration was taken from this pinThe ingredients are so simple.
Glue + Buttons + Boring Lampshade + Time + Paint (for stand if bought in an ugly shade of gold). 
It took me about 2 hours total (a half hour per side) to glue all of the buttons on 
because I am perfectionistic like that & spent a lot of time staring at individual buttons 
pondering where their perfect home should be. 
By the last side I got real sick of buttons and pattern, which is why that side will be facing the wall for the rest of it's life. 
Lastly, I painted the stand gray because gold and buttons on this particular lamp just didn't appeal to me. 
Happy Weekend! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Seafoam Wedding

One of my very best friends, Kaylee married her sophomore year of high school sweetheart & Lee's good friend, 
Trent Friday afternoon. Finally, all of her DIY goodness was revealed to the world & us girls were able 
to hop into our dresses. Those things had been hanging in our closets for far too long. 

Our bouquets & the boutonnieres were made up of individually created fabric flowers, the bow ties were 
crafted by her lovely grandma, and our dresses were of the same color palette but from any store we wished. 
Mine was from Zara. 

Everything came together so perfectly for their special day & boy could you feel the holy spirit taking over
 the entire church during the ceremony. Thee most emotional wedding I have ever been to. 

Kaylee, thank you for your sweet example of patience, your kind heart, & for being weird with me. I am 
so thankful to have been apart of the big day. We will see you two Thompson's in Fargo very soon. 
Happy honeymooning. 

P.S. Yes, that is my very own hair crafted into a boho/egyptian/greek goddess braid.
 We all had to have some sort of braid element incorporated into our hair, 
mine just happened to be in the middle of my forehead. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

3 years

Leland & I celebrated our third year of dating (holy cow) biking around lake calhoun in the twin cities.
 I spent my time staring in awww at the amazing architecture and landscaping on all of the houses around the neighborhood, while Lee worked hard to perfect his city biker moves and sounds. 
You have to be a pretty superb and knowledgeable biker if you're going to strut those streets I tell ya. 
There were speed demons and also speedos passing us left and right.
 But mostly left. 
I guess it's a biking rule that you only pass on the left?
 We, or at least I have some work to do before the tour de france next year. Ha. 
Happy 3 years Lee. 
You make my heart happy.

PS // Aren't those ducks just hilarious? Lee had me laughing so hard I almost peed myself. They just kept coming around the corner. We started with just two. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

If You Really Knew Me...

photo taken in Bruges, Belgium during my study abroad adventure fall of 2011

>> you would know that I am cheesy, a romantic, & cry way too easily - seriously.

>> you would know that I care about people & want everyone to know how beautiful they are.

>> you would know that I am a dreamer & a believer that my dreams lined up with God's will, will come true.

>> you would know that I have big dreams.

>> you would know that I speak without thinking a lot of times.

>> you would know that I love back rubs and head scratches.

>> you would know that I believe in true friendship and have about 13 "best friends" they each have their own special place in my heart and I try my very best to make sure that they know that.

>> you would know that I absolutely hate zits! who doesn't?

>> you would know that I love soft bread, cheese, and dipping sauces (specifically ketchup & bleu cheese).

>> you would know that birthdays are a big deal...speaking of which, my 21st is coming up real fast :) 

>> you would know that I'm so excited to have a family of my own someday, whatever that may look like.

>> you would know that words of affirmation are a big deal to me.

>> you would know that i am sensitive. 

>> you would know that I believe smiling is always appropriate.

>> you would know that I struggled with my weight & exercising to maintain the small figure I was blessed with for the first two years of college. The "freshman 15" scared me to death so I ran too far in the opposite direction. I never had an eating disorder just some very disordered eating that sucked joy from my life. God radically transformed my "thoughts" this past year on my study abroad trip. It is quite the slippery slope for so many women & something very close to my heart. 

>> you would know that I have a tough time focusing while watching a movie because I feel like I could be out changing the world, but instead I am sitting on my butt eating popcorn.

>> you would know that I didn't like popcorn until probably college, but nowadays Lee & I can be seen with the largest bucket possible at each movie we go to. 

>> you would know that I do not like breaking rules or being rebellious of any sort. I am whole heartedly a goodytwoshoes.

>> you would know that I cried at my hunter safety test & usually still cry with Lee whenever we go practice shooting the gun at the target in the days before the hunt. 

>> you would know that I cannot listen to what someone is saying and text at the same time and do not believe anyone that thinks they can.

>> you would know that I love conversation & getting to know the many different people of this world.

>> you would know that I like to cook only when I know I am good at the recipe, which is why I plan to have a chef in my future home.

>> you would know that I don't like doing things wrong.

>> you would know that I am a Mac lover for life.

>> you would know that I was blessed with a brain and good (schoolwise) memory - school is & was very easy for me.

>> you would also know that I cannot remember movie quotes to save my life (that's Lee's area of expertise). 

>> you would know that I am a girly girl. 

>> you would know that I am afraid of blood, but once thought I could be a nurse?!

>> you would know that perfection is my enemy.

>> you would know that I love snuggling.

>> you would know that I love to love and be loved.

>> you would know that I just love love & weddings & romantical things.

>> you would know that I can't stand goodbyes.

>> you would know that I love sleeping in. 

>> you would know that I love being quirky with my clothing choices. 

>> you would know that I take forever in the grocery store thinking of all of the tasty treats I could make.

>> you would know that I have pointy ears, but no I do not know what you are getting for christmas (a kid in the 1st grade seemed to wonder that very question, but got sent to the principal's office for asking ha).

>> you would know that I constantly pray for protection over my worries & fears. 

>> you would know that I was never as talkative as I am today, but slowly worked myself out of my childhood shyness.

>> you would know that I am a very devoted person.

>> you would know that I love wearing camo & adventuring on hunts with Lee because it is what he loves to do. 

>> you would know that I love being kissed on the forehead.

>> you would know that I wash most all of my dishes by hand.

>> you would know that I don't believe that anyone should live a boring life & do not plan to myself. 

If I really knew you what is it that I would learn?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Another Wedding

For the first wedding attendance in Ali & Lee history we coordinated our outfits. 
Oh yeah. It happened. We drove a total of 14 hours for our NDSU friends to be with 
them on their special day because we like them that much. Next time we're 
renting a plane. Lee would laugh and say that I barely had to drive anyways 
so I have absolutely nothing to complain about, which is true, but really why 
would I drive when he is so good at it? The lightning storm on the way home was 
very fascinating & helped Lee to stay awake. Thanks again for driving 
Mr. you know I appreciate it.  Until next time Beulah, ND. Until next time. 

P.S. Congrats Riley & Cheyenne, cheers to a life filled with laughter, 
love, country babies, & heffers (as Lee would say).